The largest onshore wind turbine blades ever produced in the world were made in China. At 131 meters long, each film would dwarf Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty.
Once installed in central China in the coming months, each of the structures, comprising a 15-megawatt turbine and three blades, will have a diameter of more than 260 meters.
The SY1310A onshore wind turbine blade was manufactured by SANY Renewable Energy at its factory in Bayannur, northern China.
The company said in a statement that increasing blade length meant higher requirements for stiffness and strength, as well as the need for protection against extreme weather events such as lightning.
“The blade has applied several advanced technological innovations, including a high-performance airfoil with a thick and blunt trailing edge, an optimized airfoil layout and increased overall thickness,” it says.
Peter Majewski from the University of South Australia, says the advantage of these large wind turbines is that the bigger they are, the fewer are needed. “But the bigger they are, the more visible they are and so there has to be social acceptance for building such large structures,” he says.
“These are huge structures and it’s expensive to put up, and it’s just as expensive to take down. »
Although wind turbine blades can continue to grow, the logistics of transporting such massive blades make them difficult to use, Majewski says. He also says manufacturers and society need to think about what will be done with these structures as they age.
Majewski has studied the issue of recycling wind turbine blades. In a 2022 studyhe and his colleagues predicted that by 2050, when existing wind turbines reach the end of their 20- to 30-year lifespan, tens of thousands of tons of wind farm blades may need to be landfilled.
However, he welcomed the use of recycled polyurethane in the construction of these newly unveiled blades.